Father’s Day is not just a day to honour our dads - my own dad is my role model for kindness, generosity and resilience - it’s a time to remember the privilege and joy of being a parent.
This month, as my son turns 27, I recall that I was just three years older, when he came into this world and into our lives. He was due on our 3rd anniversary but came two days early. (I was looking up the traditional present for a 30th anniversary. Not silver, gold or diamonds but rather a medal my wife deserves . . . for all the times I’ve come home late for dinner or stepped out of social events to attend patients in hospital).
Though I was in the early years of my practice, I had already delivered hundreds of babies. Nearly three decades later, each birth seems no less transcendent; I appreciate the privilege of being a family physician and to be present during the spiritual milestones of my patients’ lives.
As new parents, our lives and identities were transformed much as they did with marriage. We were no longer just individuals or a couple, living only for ourselves. In a magical moment, we became parents . . . and a family, living beyond our own self-interests.
We were responsible for all of the needs of a precious child.
Being a parent is the greatest of gifts. From the moment of his birth, my life has been infused with new levels of joy, enhancing my experience of everyday life. I would come to see life through my son’s wide and curious eyes. The world was again teeming with wonder and adventure.
I became more mindful and present. Those ordinary parent-child activities - reading and drawing together, playing in the park, building sandcastles, going to the Vancouver Aquarium, riding the Stanley Park train, swimming and learning to ride a bike - were extraordinary. They remain vivid, palpable memories today.
We grow too as our children grow up. We learn patience, acceptance and most importantly unconditional love. We are given the honour to give forward the legacy of love we have received from our own parents.
And being loved by our children, motivates us to be our best selves that we may be exemplary role models and worthy of their love.
This Father’s Day, we will celebrate and thank our fathers – and graciously appreciate the joy and privilege of being parents.
Dr. Davidicus Wong is a family physician. His Healthwise Column appears regularly in this paper. For more on achieving your positive potential in life, read his blog at davidicuswong.wordpress.com.